A project to erect 45 windmills in Riverside County has got some valley residents spinning as the idea of a wind farm near their neighborhood looms.
At a Riverside County Planning Commission meeting Wednesday, officials approved a project to have 40 wind turbines proposed by Portland-based developer PPM Energy on county land.
“We’re going to continue to fight it,” said Michele McNeill, a Desert Hot Springs resident who lives near the proposed site.
McNeill, who attended a protest earlier in the week, argues that the windmills will devalue property and cause respiratory and other health problems due to the blowing sand.
“Obviously, the planning commission is not on the side of the small guy,” she said.
The entire project, known as the Dillon Wind Project, proposes a total of 45 windmills – 40 on county land and five on Palm Springs land – off Indian Avenue adjacent to Desert Hot Springs.
The next step is to get the Riverside County Board of Supervisors’ OK and approval from Palm Springs City Council. The item will be on agendas soon.
“The county has zoned this area for wind energy, so we’re very happy to put it to use,” said PPM Energy spokeswoman Jan Johnson.
Two of the three parcels of land that are part of this project previously had windmills. They were removed to make way for more modern turbines, which is what the company plans on providing, Johnson added.
The proposed wind farm would provide enough energy to power more than 13,000 homes, Johnson said.
By Mariecar Mendoza
The Desert Sun
20 May 2007
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